Tuesday 5 May 2015

2 Poems by David Chorlton

6 o’clock

Sunlight crawls along the street,
picking out grass blades
between the long shadows
the trees cast,
until the last of it dissolves
in cooling air
and the towhee comes
to perch on a disused faucet
in the neighbor’s yard.
He alights at the same time
every day on the inches of pipe
that open to release
the first drops of darkness.
Here they come, falling slowly,
coated with rust,
until the birds have all
gone and the insomniac
traffic is guided
by the star
that hangs over the city

Daylight Saving Time

On the day in March that two AM
turns into three, the first doves

return from winter
and an hour means little to them

arriving as they do
with spring beginning two weeks earlier

this year than last
and three weeks earlier

than springs before that, all the way
back to before desert rivers

dried up in their beds;
before wolves ran to the edge

of the world and only a few
made it back to the forests.

Come October, the clocks
give back sixty minutes,

in return for what was lost
through years of poison in the water,

smoke in the sky,
and chainsaws aching as they cut.


David Chorlton was born in Austria, grew up in Manchester, England, and lived for several years in Vienna before moving to Phoenix in 1978. Arizona’s landscapes and wildlife have become increasingly important to him and a significant part of his poetry. In September, 2015, he will participate as a poet in the Fires of Change exhibition at the Coconino Center for the Arts in Flagstaff (Sponsored by the Southwest Fire Science Consortium, the Landscape Conservation Initiative, and the National Endowment for the Arts.)

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